On Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots made their third trade of the offseason: The team acquired wide receiver and All-Pro kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson from the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots sent a 2018 fifth-round draft pick (#159) to Oakland in order to get both the former first-round draft pick on board and an additional selection in the sixth round of the draft.
With the Raiders owning a total of six selections in the sixth round, however, the final slot of the draft pick New England was to receive was not yet publicly disclosed – until yesterday that is, when the NFL's transaction wire made the trade and its details official: The Patriots will receive the highest of Oakland's four compensatory selections in the sixth round, overall pick number 210.
With the sixth-rounder now in New England, the team's current draft pick portfolio looks as follows:
2-11-43 (from San Francisco 49ers)
4-36-136 (compensatory pick)
6-36-210 (from Oakland Raiders)
7-1-219 (from Cleveland Browns)
As we now know, trading for Patterson cost the Patriots a drop of 51 draft slots – not insignificant but also not as big a drop as it might look like at first glance. After all, the value and expected hit rate for draft choices after selection #160 are roughly equal. Trading such picks for proven NFL players is therefore a creative use of assets and comparatively cheap way to infuse high-upside talent into the team.